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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on The First Book of Esdras

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1.1–33 : Josiah's Passover and his last days;

parallel to 2 Chr. 35.1–27 . Why 1 Esd. begins with this account is not known. Some speculate that the author wished to highlight the role of Josiah, and possibly to show a connection between his worthy acts and the return from the Exile in the days of Cyrus. The conclusion at 9.55 seems abrupt, as if more material was once included; possibly the beginning was also lost.

4 :

It: the Ark. Family and clan: see 1 Chr. chs. 24–26 .

8 :

Esyelus: 2 Chr. 35.8 reads “Jehiel.”

11 :

In the morning: 2 Chr. 35.12 has “so with the bulls”; the Heb. words for “morning” and “bulls,” having identical consonants, were easily confused.

22 :

The eighteenth year of Josiah's reign: 621 B.C.E.

23–24 :

Not paralleled in 2 Chr.

25 :

Pharaoh: Necho (reigned 609–594 B.C.E.); 2 Chr. 35.20 . In 609 the Egyptians moved north to attack Carchemish, to aid the Assyrians, who were making a last-ditch stand against the Medes and Babylonians.

1.34–58 : The fall of Judah and Jerusalem;

parallel to 2 Chr. 36.1–21 .

38 :

A confused version of 2 Chr. 36.4; see 2 Chr. 36.1–4, 9–11 . The name Zarius, otherwise unknown, is likely an error for Jehoahaz, who was exiled to Egypt by Necho (2 Chr. 36.4 ). The “bringing back” of Zarius-Jehoahaz reflects further confusion.

43 :

HeJoakim: for Joakim, read “Jehoiachin”; eighteen is correct, not eight (2 Chr. 36.9 ).

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